Who pays Council Tax?
We work out who has to pay Council Tax by finding out who falls
into the highest of the following categories:
- a freeholder who lives in the property (for example, an
- a leaseholder who lives in the property (for example, an
- a tenant who lives in the property;
- a licensee who lives in the property;
- someone else living in the property (for example, a
If two or more people fall into the highest category, they will
be equally responsible for paying Council Tax. This is known as
'joint and several liability'. This means that we can ask any of
the people to pay all the Council Tax bill. It does not mean that
each person is only responsible for their share of the bill.
A married couple, or a couple living together as husband and
wife, or civil partners will also be jointly liable, even if one
partner falls into a lower category.
If nobody is living at a property, the owner has to pay Council
There are also some special cases where the owner has to pay
Council Tax even though there are people living in the
- residential care homes, nursing homes and some hostels;
- homes of ministers of religion;
- homes of religious communities;
- homes of domestic servants;
- houses where several families live (multiple occupation);
- houses occupied by asylum seekers.